Updated on 09/16/2011 8:12AM

Wonder Again wins Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap

Wonder Again wins the Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap by one-half length at Belmont Park on Sunday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Wonder Again continued her development into the top 3-year-old turf filly in training Sunday, by finding running room in upper stretch and blowing by the leaders in deep stretch to win the $250,000, Grade 1 by one-half length at Belmont Park.

Riskaverse, who had to overcome the outside post and traffic in the 10-horse field, finished gamely to be second, 1 1/2 lengths over the tough-luck European shipper Pertuisane.

It was the fourth consecutive victory and second straight stakes score for Wonder Again, a daughter of Silver Hawk owned by John and Joan Philips and trained by Jimmy Toner. Those same connections campaigned Soaring Softly, the female turf champion of 1999, and Memories of Silver, a multiple Grade 1 winning turf distaffer in the mid 1990s.

After being carried wide into the first turn by Kithira, Wonder Again stalked that pacesetter down the backstretch under Edgar Prado. Wonder Again encountered some traffic trouble around the turn, but once clear in upper stretch she kicked on and took command inside the eighth pole. Wonder Again covered the nine furlongs over a firm inner turf course in 1:47.33 and returned $5.40 as the favorite.

"She was kind of looking around going into the first turn, but she settled nicely,' Prado said. "I rode her with confidence. I know what she's capable of. She's got great acceleration.'

Toner said Sunday's race was a lot more nerve-wracking than the Lake Placid in which Wonder Again looked like a winner every step.

"That was a huge effort,' Toner said of the Garden City. "She got bottled up and I lost track of her. You seem them all go by you and you figure `that's it.' Once she saw daylight, she just exploded. I'll take the way she won in the Lake Placid any time.'

In the days before the race, Toner said a run in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf was unlikely. He said his goal is the $500,000, Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 12.

That also is the likely goal for Riskaverse, who for the second straight race had to settle for second to Wonder Again while breaking from an outside post.

"The post was a killer,' trainer Pat Kelly said. "You have to do twice as much work from out there. She ran well and the winner's a nice filly. One of these days we'll catch her, we're getting closer.'

Under Shaun Bridgmohan, Pertuisane was bottled up virtually the length of the stretch before finding running room late.